Jackson throws himself back into the mix

Posted Oct 28, 2011

Tarvaris Jackson has not played since straining his right pectoral against the Giants three weeks ago, but the Seahawks’ starting quarterback took a giant step toward returning in Friday’s practice.

There’s questionable, and then there’s questionable.

Tarvaris Jackson is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals, but the Seahawks’ starting quarterback is a lot less questionable after he threw more in practice on Friday than at any time since straining his right pectoral against the New York Giants three weeks ago.

“I still kind of feel it when I throw a little bit,” Jackson said. “But I already kind of got it in my head that there’s going to be some pain when I throw a little bit, there will be a little soreness. That’s not the point. The point is having all my tools in the box so I can make all the throws and not be affected by my pec.”

Said coach Pete Carroll, “It’s encouraging. I think he has a chance to play if he can get through these two days.”

So the big question now: How will the shoulder on his throwing arm feel on Saturday morning after Jackson’s extended stint on Friday afternoon?

“Tarvaris had his best day in the last couple weeks,” Carroll said. “He’s just started to come out of it and threw the ball well. He’s still questionable, but we’ll take it to the next couple days here and see where we are.

“But it’s is a very good sign. He felt the best, he had the most work. So we’ll see what happens with that.”

Offered Jackson, “It’s Friday and it felt pretty good today. It’ll be interesting to see how I feel tomorrow and Sunday.

“I put a little more mustard on the ball today just playing catch. It just will be interesting to see exactly how I feel after doing that. But I don’t think it will have an affect or have a setback after throwing. I think it will be fine. But I guess we’ll see, because it’s kind of a thing where it feels good one day and some days it won’t.”

One of those feel-good days was last Sunday, when Jackson worked out before the game in Cleveland but then was named inactive for the game, which the Seahawks lost to the Brown 6-3.

“I threw a little bit Sunday, and it felt pretty good Sunday,” Jackson said. “But this probably was my best day today.”

Charlie Whitehurst got the starter reps in practice Friday, as he has all week, and is prepared to start. But Jackson took snaps during every phase of Friday’s practice after being limited all week.

“It’s good for us to see it, it’s good for him to feel it,” Carroll said of Jackson’s good Friday. “He went out there and felt good about it. We’ve been kind of leaning toward showing something on this day and I know that he has a little pep in his step.”

In Jackson’s absence, Whitehurst played well in the second half while rallying the Seahawks to an upset victory over the Giants before the team’s bye week and not so well in last week’s bye-post loss to the Browns in Cleveland.

“Charlie is ready to start the game,” Carroll said. “We’ll just take it one day at a time and see where we are tomorrow and go from there.”

Jackson had thrown deep balls during walk-thru sessions earlier in the week, but Friday he put “a little more mustard” on the ball to test his shoulder – and show the coaches he could do it.

“It doesn’t hurt any worse,” Jackson when asked about throwing short vs. throwing long. “It’s not about the length of the throw, it’s a little different. If I play, I’m going to be able to throw the deep ball. I’m not going to go out there and play and let defenses just sit all over our short stuff and not be able to make throws down the field.”

Jackson said it was more important for the coaches to see him cut loose on a throw that it was for him to actually do it.

“They want to see it,” he said. “They don’t want to throw you out there and throw you in a bad position and you can’t really be the player that you normally are and make plays that you normally make. So I think it was good for those guys to see that.”

Jackson is eager to play, but only if he can help the team.

“I want to play. Obviously I want to play,” he said. “But if I can’t be the player that I know I can be, I don’t want to go out there and hurt the team. But I feel like it’s time for me to comeback. I don’t think that this injury should keep me out of the game much longer.”

How much longer remains to be seen.